On November 30, 2017 Admiration Chapter No. 282 held our first regular meeting since receiving our charter earlier this fall. This meeting was the first one in putting into action all the work that had been done over the last three years of working towards our goal of a charter.
At a time when so many other Masonic bodies are barely holding on, we seemed to have found a formula that is working. We provide members something of value and a reason to come to our meetings.
Sure, we must take care of the business at hand, but this is done quickly and efficiently. We didn’t start a new Chapter just for another opportunity to read the minutes. At our last meeting Brian Pettice, who was one of the key organizers of Admiration Chapter, reviewed the original mission, vision and goals for Admiration. Brian also read an email I had put together back in January 2015 with some of my thoughts on what new Royal Arch Chapter could be.
These are the points I listed in my original email to several brothers:
· I want to be part of an organization that has as its primary core values and seeks to exemplify, our core Masonic values, brotherly love, relief and truth.
· I have no interest in another organization that simply reads the minutes and pays the bills. We have plenty of these already. While the business matters of a Chapter are important, they shouldn't be the primary focus of meetings.
· Focus on quality meetings, not quantity of meetings.
· An organization that does not accept mediocrity, but rather strives for excellence in our relations with each other, our exemplification of degrees and our service to Freemasonry.
· A Chapter that has education as a primary means of sharing with its members, the lessons of Freemasonry, thus providing a means for its members to not only learn, but the opportunity to share in the educational opportunities as both student and teacher.
· An expectation that members of the Chapter will share in the obligations of Masonic Education.
· Civility - I think much of our culture has lost the principal of civility. I see it in on-line forums, on the campuses where I spend time, in our government and elsewhere. We as Freemasons have a long history of exemplifying civility. I would challenge a new Chapter to not only exemplify civility within the Chapter, but provide leadership throughout Freemasonry and within our communities on the topic of civility. I think we have a real opportunity with this topic.
One area I am especially proud is our work in Masonic Education. Several Companions have given presentations and we have held facilitated discussions on topics such as civility and honor. It has been rewarding in listening to the Companions engage in these discussions. I have learned something on every topic we have had.
We are preparing for our second annual St. John’s celebration on December 27, where fellowship and education will be the focus, with the companions gathered in our dining room. If you have never held such an event, I encourage you to start one.
Admiration Chapter is just getting started.